Transcript: Life After Wrongful Conviction | Nov 20, 2017

Steve sits in the studio. He's slim, clean-shaven, in his fifties, with short curly brown hair. He's wearing a gray suit, checkered shirt, and striped gray tie.

A caption on screen reads "Life after wrongful conviction."

Steve says IT BEGAN WITH A SERIES
OF LETTERS.
IT ENDED WITH AN INNOCENT MAN
WALKING FREE AFTER 29 YEARS IN A
NEW YORK STATE PRISON.
THAT MAN IS DAVID MCCALLUM,
A FREE MAN NOW FOR MORE THAN THREE YEARS.

David is in his late forties, shaven-headed, with a stubble. He's wearing a gray suit and a blue gingham shirt.

Steve continues HE JOINS US WITH ONE OF THOSE
LETTER WRITERS, KEN KLONSKY,
WHO HAS CHRONICLED THE WHOLE
STORY IN HIS BOOK
FREEING DAVID MCCALLUM:
THE LAST MIRACLE OF
RUBIN "HURRICANE" CARTER.
HE'S ALSO
DIRECTOR OF MEDIA RELATIONS FOR
INNOCENCE INTERNATIONAL.

Ken is in his seventies, clean-shaven and balding. He's wearing a gray suit, white shirt and black tie.
A picture of his book appears briefly on screen. The cover features a picture of David looking at a prison through a window in a large room.

Steve continues KEN, IT'S GOOD TO HAVE YOU HERE
FOR THE FIRST TIME.
DAVID, SO WONDERFUL TO SEE
YOU AGAIN.

David says THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

Steve says YOU AND I HAVE SAT AROUND
THIS TABLE AND OTHERS IN
THE PAST.
AND WE'RE GOING TO GET TO
YOUR STORY.
BUT I HATE TO DO THIS OFF
THE TOP.
BUT A LOT OF PEOPLE STILL WON'T
KNOW YOUR STORY.
AND I THINK I NEED YOU TO TAKE
US BACK TO THOSE DAYS, MORE THAN
THREE DECADES AGO, WHEN YOU GOT
SCOOPED UP BY THE COPS AND ENDED
UP GOING TO JAIL FOR A VERY
LONG TIME.
WHAT WERE THE CIRCUMSTANCES?

The caption changes to "David McCallum. Wrongfully convicted of murder."
Then, it changes again to "29 years behind bars."

David says SURE, SO, THE CIRCUMSTANCES
WAS THAT A 20-YEAR-OLD WHITE MAN
IN QUEENS BY THE NAME OF
NATHAN BLENNER WAS ABDUCTED IN
FRONT OF HIS HOME AND APPARENTLY
TAKEN TO BROOKLYN, NEW YORK,
WHERE HE WAS FOUND IN THE BACK
OF A PARK WITH A GUNSHOT WOUND
IN HIS HEAD.
THIS OCCURRENCE OCCURRED ON
OCTOBER 20TH, 1985.
ON OCTOBER 27TH, 1985, A FRIEND
OF MINE, WILLIE STUCKEY,
WAS ARRESTED FOR THAT VERY CRIME
AND TAKEN TO THE PRECINCT.
MR. STUCKEY FALSELY CONFESSED TO
WITNESSING ME SHOOT MR. BLENNER.
AND AS A RESULT, THREE HOURS
LATER, I WAS ARRESTED FOR THE
CRIME AND TAKEN DOWN TO THE
POLICE STATION,
INTERROGATED ABOUT THE CRIME.
ONCE I WAS ASKED ABOUT THE
CRIME, DID I KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT
SOMEONE BEING SHOT IN THE PARK A
WEEK BEFORE, WHEN I ANSWERED
"NO," THE INTERROGATING OFFICER
SLAPPED ME IN MY FACE.
SO, HE ASKED ME AGAIN AND
THREATENED TO HIT ME WITH A
CHAIR IF I DIDN'T TELL HIM WHAT
HE WANTED TO HEAR.

Steve says WHICH YOU DID.

David says WHICH I DID.

Steve says AND THEN YOU ENDED UP
SPENDING THE NEXT 29 YEARS OF
YOUR LIFE IN JAIL.

David says THAT IS CORRECT.

Steve says HOW DID YOU FIRST HEAR ABOUT
HIS STORY?

The caption changes to "Ken Klonsky. Author, 'Freeing David McCallum.'"

Ken says DAVID WROTE TO ME BECAUSE HE
HAD READ AN INTERVIEW THAT I DID
WITH RUBIN "HURRICANE" CARTER IN
THE SUN
MAGAZINE.
IT WAS HIGHLY UNEXPECTED THAT HE
WOULD WRITE TO ME.
I HAD NO EXPERIENCE EITHER IN
WRONGFUL CONVICTIONS OR WITH
THE LAW.

Steve says SO, WHY DECIDE TO GET
INVOLVED IN THIS ONE?

Ken says IT COINCIDED WITH RUBIN'S
LEAVING THE ASSOCIATION IN
DEFENCE OF THE
WRONGLY CONVICTED.
AND HE HAD NOBODY, IN EFFECT,
TO CONTINUE HIS CAREER OF
GETTING PEOPLE OUT OF PRISON.
AND SO, I WAS THERE BECAUSE I'D
DONE THAT INTERVIEW WITH HIM.
AND I WAS THE SANCHO PANZA
FOLLOWING HIM INTO
THE WILDERNESS.
BUT HE KNEW WHAT HE WAS DOING.

Steve says WELL, THE HURRICANE-- I MEAN,
A LOT OF PEOPLE IN TORONTO
OBVIOUSLY KNOW THE HURRICANE
'CAUSE HE SPENT A LOT OF
TIME HERE.
HE WAS A GREAT FIGHTER BACK IN
THE DAY.
DIED NOT TOO LONG AGO, YES?

Ken says 2014, RIGHT BEFORE DAVID GOT
OUT OF PRISON.

Steve says HOW INSTRUMENTAL WAS HIS
INVOLVEMENT IN ULTIMATELY
GETTING DAVID FREED?

Ken says HE WAS THE INSPIRATION BEHIND
THE EFFORT BECAUSE, WITHOUT HIM,
I NEVER WOULD HAVE BEEN ABLE TO
GET A SERIES OF VERY FINE
PROFESSIONALS TO HELP HIM,
INCLUDING OSCAR MICHELEN,
LAWYER, STEVE DRIZIN, WHO'S A
VERY WELL-KNOWN FALSE CONFESSION
EXPERT IN NORTHWESTERN,
AND LAURA COHEN AT
RUTGERS UNIVERSITY.
RUBIN'S NAME IS-- WAS...
AND STILL IS, IN SOME WAYS...
VERY IMPORTANT IN
WRONGFUL CONVICTIONS.
HE RAISED MILLIONS OF DOLLARS
FOR WRONGFUL CONVICTIONS, UNITS,
YOU MIGHT CALL THEM, ALL OVER
THE COUNTRY.

Steve says WHAT WAS THE KIND OF STRAW
THAT BROKE THE CAMEL'S BACK IN
DAVID'S CASE THAT ULTIMATELY LED
AUTHORITIES TO SAY "WE'VE GOT AN
INNOCENT MAN IN JAIL.
WE GOT TO LET HIM GO."?

The caption changes to "Innocence international."

Ken says I THINK RUBIN'S LETTER, UHH,
HIS DYING WISH WAS FOR DAVID TO
GET OUT OF PRISON.
AND IT WAS NOTICED BY THE
DISTRICT ATTORNEY, THE NEW
DISTRICT ATTORNEY, IN BROOKLYN,
KEN THOMPSON.
AND KEN HAD COME IN ON THE
PROVISO THAT HE WAS GOING TO GET
JUSTICE FOR PEOPLE WHO'D BEEN
WRONGLY CONVICTED IN BROOKLYN,
WHICH NUMBERED OVER 100 PEOPLE.
AND HE DECIDED TO BE GOOD TO
HIS WORD.
THE REASON HE CHOSE DAVID WAS
THAT HE RESPECTED RUBIN,
I THINK, A LOT.
AND HE ALSO FELT LIKE DAVID'S
CASE SHOULD BE PUT AT THE TOP.
OTHERWISE, HE WOULD HAVE MAYBE
HAD TO WAIT 50, 60 PEOPLE,
50, 60 OTHER INVESTIGATIONS.

Steve says CAN YOU FOLLOW UP ON THAT,
DAVID, AND HOW WELL YOU KNEW
HURRICANE CARTER OR WHAT THE
NATURE OF YOUR RELATIONSHIP WAS
LIKE WITH HIM?

David says WELL, A FRIEND OF MINE WAS
READING THIS MAGAZINE WHILE I
WAS AT A PLACE CALLED
"EASTERN CORRECTIONAL FACILITY."
SO, WHEN I READ THE INTERVIEW
BETWEEN KEN KLONSKY AND
RUBIN "HURRICANE" CARTER, I KNEW
WHO RUBIN WAS.
I DIDN'T KNOW WHO KEN WAS AT THE
TIME, OBVIOUSLY.
BUT I KNEW WHO RUBIN WAS.
I KNEW THAT HE WAS A FORMER
PRIZE FIGHTER.
I KNEW THAT HE HAD SPENT
19 YEARS IN PRISON FOR A CRIME
HE DIDN'T COMMIT.
SO, KNOWING THOSE THINGS ABOUT
RUBIN, OF COURSE, I DECIDED TO
WRITE KEN KLONSKY A LETTER,
LETTING HIM KNOW-- EXPLAINING TO
HIM WHO I WAS AND, YOU KNOW,
WHAT I WAS WRITING FOR.

Steve says DID YOU HAVE ANY EXPECTATION
THAT THEY WOULD TAKE UP
YOUR CASE?

David says ABSOLUTELY NOT.
AT THAT PARTICULAR TIME, I HAD
WRITTEN SEVERAL...
HUNDREDS OF LETTERS.
I'D BEEN DENIED AT EVERY TURN.
SO, I TOOK THE POSITION THAT I'M
GOING TO CONTINUE TO-- WHAT I
CALL A
"LETTER WRITING CAMPAIGN."
AND I WAS GOING TO TAKE IT
WHEREVER IT WENT.
I WAS GOING TO SORT OF BRACE
MYSELF FOR ANY SORT OF DENIALS
THAT COME MY WAY.
BUT AT THE SAME TIME, I WAS...
I WAS GOING TO REMAIN OPTIMISTIC
THAT SOMEONE WOULD COME ALONG
AND TOOK MY CASE.
AND JUST SO HAPPENS THAT, WHEN I
WROTE KEN KLONSKY THE LETTER,
HE WROTE ME BACK ABOUT A WEEK,
WEEK AND A HALF LATER,
LETTING ME KNOW THAT HE WAS
TOUCHED BY WHAT I HAD TO SAY IN
MY LETTER AND THAT HE WOULD SEE
WHAT HE COULD DO BY GETTING
HURRICANE INVOLVED.

Steve says HOW'D YOU FEEL ABOUT
THAT DEVELOPMENT?

David says I WAS VERY HAPPY ABOUT THAT.
BUT AT THE SAME TIME, BECAUSE I
WAS SO BEATEN DOWN BY THE SYSTEM
AT THE TIME-- MEANING THAT,
YOU KNOW, MY ESTATE AND FEDERAL
APPEALS WERE EXHAUSTED, I DIDN'T
REALLY HAVE ANY OTHER LEGAL
RECOURSE, OTHER THAN
POST-CONVICTION MOTIONS.
SO, I WAS VERY PESSIMISTIC WHILE
OPTIMISTIC AT THE SAME TIME, YEAH.

Steve says IS IT-- IS IS ESSENTIALLY
LOOKING FOR A NEEDLE IN A
HAYSTACK, KEN, TRYING TO GET A
WRONGFUL CONVICTION OVERTURNED?

Ken says IT'S NOT A NEEDLE IN
A HAYSTACK.
IT'S MORE LIKE MAJOR RESISTANCE.
I WAS, THE OTHER NIGHT,
MENTIONING TO PEOPLE AT A LAW
SCHOOL IN NEW YORK THAT IF
REASONABLE PEOPLE HAD SAT DOWN
WITH DAVID'S CASE AND SPENT AN
HOUR OR AN HOUR AND A HALF,
WE'D HAVE ALL LEFT THE TABLE AND
SAID "YOU KNOW WHAT,
LET HIM OUT."
BUT IT TOOK TEN YEARS BECAUSE
THE PEOPLE WHO ARE IN POWER
DON'T WANT PEOPLE FREED.
IT HURTS EVERYBODY'S REPUTATION
IN THE BUREAUCRACY.
SO, THEY PUT UP RESISTANCE AT
EVERY SINGLE PLACE IN THE...
IN THE PROCESS.
SO, IT'S NOT A NEEDLE IN
A HAYSTACK.
IT'S RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOU.

Steve says IT'S JUST A MATTER OF TRYING
TO GET ALL THE VESTED INTERESTS
TO TAKE THE TIME.

Ken says AND TO ADMIT THAT THERE'S
ERROR BECAUSE WRONGFUL
CONVICTIONS AREN'T THE PROBLEM.
THERE HAVE TO BE
WRONGFUL CONVICTIONS.
THERE'S NO-- I MEAN, IT'S A
MATHEMATICAL CERTAINTY.
THE PROBLEM IS THAT EVERYBODY
CIRCLES THE WAGONS.
THAT'S WHERE THE
DIFFICULTY LIES.
PEOPLE DON'T LIKE TO ADMIT ERROR.

Steve says LET'S FIND OUT ABOUT THOSE
PEOPLE, DAVID.
THERE WERE POLICE OFFICERS WHO
WRONGLY ARRESTED YOU.
THERE WERE PROSECUTING ATTORNEYS
WHO WRONGLY AIMED TO TRY TO GET
YOU CONVICTED.
ALL OF THE PEOPLE WHO WERE
INVOLVED IN THAT CIRCLING OF THE
WAGONS, WHICH ULTIMATELY
RESULTED IN YOU GOING TO PRISON
FOR A VERY LONG TIME, HAS ANY...
WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO ANY
OF THEM?

David says WELL, THE INTERROGATING
OFFICER IN MY CASE, AT THE TIME,
WAS POLICE OFFICER JOSEPH BUTTA.
HE-- HE PASSED AWAY IN THE
EARLY 1990S.
AND THERE WAS-- THERE WERE NO
REPERCUSSIONS OR CONSEQUENCES
FOR-- FOR HIS ACTIONS, NOR WOULD
THERE BE AT THAT PARTICULAR TIME
BECAUSE MY CASE WAS STILL
BEING-- WAS STILL GOING THROUGH
THE-- THROUGH THE
APPEAL PROCESS.
IN NEW YORK STATE, THEY HAVE
VERY STRONG IMMUNITY LAWS.
SO, THAT MEANS THAT PROSECUTORS
ARE STRONGLY PROTECTED BY LAWS,
MEANING THAT THEY COULDN'T BE
PROSECUTED, YOU KNOW, FOR THE
MOST PART, FOR PUTTING INNOCENT
MEN AND WOMEN IN PRISON.

Steve says DO YOU AT LEAST GET AN
APOLOGY FROM THE STATE?

David says OH, NO, I DID NOT, NO.

Steve says NEW YORK STATE DID NOT
OFFICIALLY APOLOGIZE TO YOU.

David says NO, THEY DID NOT.

Steve says DESPITE THE FACT THAT THEIR
JUSTICE SYSTEM PUT YOU AWAY FOR
29 YEARS.

David says THAT'S CORRECT.
THEY DID NOT APOLOGIZE.

Steve says HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE, KEN?

Ken says WELL, THEY APOLOGIZED
WITH MONEY.
SO, IN A WAY, IT'S A-- IT'S A DE
FACTO APOLOGY.

Steve says IT'S AN ACKNOWLEDGEMENT.
BUT IT'S NOBODY SAYING
"WE SCREWED UP.
WE'RE SORRY."

Ken says NO, NOT THE PEOPLE WHO
WERE INVOLVED.
IN FACT, THEY ALL SAID...
WELL, NOT ALL-- BUT THE
PROSECUTING ATTORNEY, WHO HAD
BECOME A JUDGE NOW...
BECAUSE EVERYBODY GETS PROMOTED
WHEN YOU MAKE AN ARREST LIKE
THAT-- SAID THIS WAS
HIGHLY UNUSUAL.
"THIS IS NOT SOMETHING I CAN
ACCEPT, THAT HE'S TAKEN OUT
OF PRISON."
BUT HE HAD NO-- HE KNEW,
BASICALLY, THAT DAVID WAS
INNOCENT EVEN WHEN HE STARTED TO
PROSECUTE HIM.

Steve says AT THIS POINT, ALL THESE
YEARS LATER, WOULD AN APOLOGY
FROM ANY OF THE PARTICIPANTS WHO
PUT YOU THERE MEAN ANYTHING
TO YOU?

David says WELL, YES, I THINK IT WOULD,
SO, BECAUSE, AT THE VERY LEAST...
AT LEAST I WOULD HAVE BEEN OKAY
KNOWING THAT SOMEONE AT LEAST
TOOK SOME SORT OF RESPONSIBILITY
FOR WHAT HAD HAPPENED TO NOT
ONLY ME BUT, MORE IMPORTANTLY,
WHAT HAPPENED TO WILLIE STUCKEY
TOO BECAUSE IT WAS
WILLIE STUCKEY, UNFORTUNATELY,
WHO LOST HIS LIFE WHILE DOING
TIME FOR THIS PARTICULAR CRIME.
SO, YES, I BELIEVE AN APOLOGY
WOULD HAVE BEEN IN ORDER.
I WOULD HAVE ACCEPTED THE
APOLOGY BECAUSE I THINK I WAS
RAISED THE RIGHT WAY BY
MY PARENTS.
AND GIVEN THE HORRIFIC STUFF
THAT OCCURRED TO US-- "US" BEING
ME AND WILLIE STUCKEY-- I THINK
I WOULD HAVE DONE THAT, YES.

Steve says WILLIE WAS YOUR PAL.
HOW OLD WAS HE WHEN HE DIED?

David says WILLIE WAS 32 YEARS OLD WHEN
HE PASSED AWAY.

Steve says TVO WAS A PARTNER IN THE
DOCUMENTARY THAT GOT MADE ABOUT
YOUR SITUATION.
AND WE'VE GOT-- LET'S LOOK AT A
LITTLE SNIPPET OF THAT.
AND THEN WE'LL COME BACK AND
CHAT, OKAY?

David says SURE.

Steve says SHELDON, ROLL THE CLIP, PLEASE.

A clip plays on screen with the caption "David and me. Streaming at tvo.org/documentaries"
In the clip, a man speaks. He's in his late forties, balding, with a stubble.

He says AS HIS LAWYER, I HAVE TO LET
HIM KNOW WHAT THE OPTIONS ARE,
THAT HE HAS TO GETTING OUT
OF JAIL.
AND I SAID "DAVID, THERE MAY
COME A TIME WHERE IT'S IN YOUR
BEST INTERESTS TO JUST WAIVE THE
WHITE FLAG."

David sits in a cafeteria facing an unseen interviewer.

He says I'VE THOUGHT ABOUT IT.
AND I COULD NOT SEE MYSELF
SITTING IN FRONT OF ANYONE AND
ADMITTING GUILT IN THIS CRIME.
I CAN'T DO IT.
AND I WON'T DO IT.
AND IF IT TAKES
DYING IN PRISON, I WILL
DO THAT.

The clip ends.

The caption changes to "Paying for innocence."

Steve says DAVID, THAT IS, OF COURSE,
THE AWFUL HOBSON'S CHOICE THAT
YOU HAD IN PRISON: 'FESS UP THAT
YOU DID SOMETHING YOU DIDN'T DO
AND THEY'LL CONSIDER LETTING YOU
OUT OR STICK IT OUT TO THE END,
KNOWING THAT YOU MAY SPEND THE
REST OF YOUR LIFE IN JAIL.
WHY SO ADAMANT THAT YOU WEREN'T
GOING TO 'FESS UP?

David says BECAUSE WE SIMPLY DIDN'T
COMMIT THE CRIME.
YOU KNOW, FOR A VERY LONG TIME,
EVEN FROM THE TIME I WAS
ARRESTED AND SHORTLY THEREAFTER,
PARTICULARLY AFTER THE
CONFESSIONS WERE MADE,
WE IMMEDIATELY RECANTED THEM.
AND WE RECANTED THEM BECAUSE WE
KNEW THAT WE DIDN'T COMMIT A
CRIME BECAUSE WE ALSO KNEW,
AT THE TIME, THEY SAID THIS
CRIME WAS SAID TO HAVE BEEN
COMMITTED OCTOBER 20TH,
ABOUT 3:20 IN THE AFTERNOON.
WILLIE AND I WERE BOTH IN OUR
NEIGHBOURHOOD PARKS,
PLAYING WITH MY SISTERS,
WHICH WE NORMALLY DID ON EVERY
OTHER SUNDAY, OR ANY
GIVEN SUNDAY.
PLUS, YOU KNOW, I JUST COULDN'T
SEE MYSELF EVER KILLING SOMEONE,
YOU KNOW?
SO, I KNEW THAT WE DIDN'T COMMIT
THE CRIME.
AND I WAS GOING TO STAND ON THAT
PRINCIPLE BECAUSE, YOU KNOW,
I'M NOT A KILLER.
AND I DIDN'T WANT TO BE BRANDED
AS ONE, ALTHOUGH I WAS CONVICTED
AS ONE.
BUT THAT DIDN'T MEAN I HAD TO
LIVE AS ONE, SO...

Steve says HOW CLOSE DID YOU EVER GET TO
SAYING "I CAN'T TAKE IT IN
HERE ANYMORE.
I'M JUST GOING TO FESS UP TO
SOMETHING I DIDN'T DO.
AND I'LL GET OUT OF HERE."?

David says I NEVER REALLY GOT THAT FAR,
TO BE HONEST, ONLY BECAUSE I
KNOW, IN MY SITUATION,
I ATTENDED A FEW
PAROLE HEARINGS.
AND AT THESE PAROLE HEARINGS,
YOU WERE MADE TO EITHER TAKE
REMORSE FOR THE CRIME OR SHOW
SOME FORM OF RESPONSIBILITY.
AND I JUST COULDN'T FIND MYSELF
TO DO ANY OF THAT STUFF BECAUSE,
TO ME, THAT WOULD BE AN
ADMISSION OF GUILT.
AND I WASN'T GOING TO DO THAT.
SO, I REALLY NEVER CAME CLOSE TO
ANY, LIKE, SORT OF, LIKE,
CONFESSING TO THIS CRIME AND
SAYING I DID IT.
ALTHOUGH, THERE WERE DIFFICULT
MOMENTS IN PRISON.
I DECIDED TO, YOU KNOW, SORT OF
FIGHT IT, FIGHT IT OUT AND SEE
WHERE IT GOES.
AND IT WENT IN A PLACE WHERE I
EVENTUALLY REALLY BELIEVED IT
WOULD GO.
AND THAT'S FREEDOM.

Steve says WHEN YOU FINALLY GOT OUT,
WHAT KIND OF SUPPORT IS IN PLACE
FOR AN INNOCENT MAN, NOT AN
EX-CON, BUT AN INNOCENT MAN WHO
GETS OUT OF JAIL AND NOW HAS TO
BASICALLY FEND FOR HIMSELF IN
THE WORLD.

David says UNFORTUNATELY, IN NEW YORK
STATE-- AND IT'S PROBABLY LIKE
THIS IN OTHER STATES ACROSS THE
U.S.-- THERE ARE NO
SOCIAL SERVICES.
THERE ARE NO PROGRAMS FOR PEOPLE
LIKE MYSELF, YOU KNOW,
INNOCENT PEOPLE WHO HAVE GOTTEN
EXONERATED FROM PRISON.
SO, FORTUNATELY, FOR ME, I HAD
REALLY GOOD SUPPORT SYSTEM WITH
KEN AND MANY, MANY OTHERS WHO
SORT OF GUIDED ME THROUGH SOME
OF THE TRANSITIONS THAT I WAS
GOING TO NEED.

Steve says BUT IT'S INTERESTING.
EX-CONS WHO HAVE BEEN
FOUND GUILTY...

David says YES.

Steve says AND WHO HAVE DONE THEIR TIME,
THERE ARE PROGRAMS IN PLACE
FOR THEM.

David says THAT IS ABSOLUTELY CORRECT.
SO, A PERSON WHO'S ACTUALLY
PAROLED, FOR EXAMPLE,
WOULD RECEIVE SOCIAL SERVICES,
WHETHER IT'S MEDICATION,
MEDICAID, SOCIAL SECURITY AND
THOSE KIND OF DRUG PROGRAMS.
WHATEVER PROGRAMS THAT
PARTICULAR PERSON MAY NEED,
THAT WOULD BE AVAILABLE
FOR THEM.

Steve says HOW DOES THAT MAKE ANY SENSE
AT ALL?

Ken says I DON'T UNDERSTAND IT.

Steve says I MEAN, DO THEY ASSUME THAT
"WELL, WE'LL PAY YOU OFF.
WE'LL GIVE YOU COMPENSATION.
THEREFORE, YOU'RE FINE.
WE DON'T NEED TO DO
ANYTHING ELSE."?
I MEAN, THIS GUY'D NEVER SEEN A
CELL PHONE BEFORE WHEN HE GOT...
RIGHT?
WHEN HE GOT OUT OF JAIL, HE CAME
INTO A WORLD THAT WAS SO UTTERLY
DIFFERENT FROM THE ONE HE
WENT IN.

Ken says THEY GAVE HIM 40 dollars AND
SAID GOODBYE.
AND YOU DIDN'T KNOW-- OR HE
DIDN'T KNOW WHEN THE
COMPENSATION WAS COMING.
IT COULD BE YEARS DOWN THE LINE.
THE ONE NICE THING WAS THAT THE
PEOPLE WHO SUPPORTED DAVID,
ESPECIALLY FROM THE MOVIE
DAVID and ME,
GAVE A SUBSTANTIAL
AMOUNT OF MONEY FOR A FUND THAT
HE WOULD-- IT WOULD BE A BRIDGE
BETWEEN THE TIME HE GOT OUT AND
WHEN HE GOT-- WHEN HE
GOT COMPENSATION.
AND IT ACTUALLY WORKED.

Steve says BUT I BET YOU'D RATHER HAVE
THE 29 YEARS BACK.

David says I CERTAINLY WOULD.
I CERTAINLY WOULD.
AND I OFTEN SAY THAT NOT ANY
AMOUNT OF MONEY WOULD SORT OF
REPLACE WHAT I HAD TO ENDURE
DURING MY TIME IN PRISON,
YOU KNOW, JUST THE MERE FACT
THAT I LOST MY DAD WHILE I WAS
INCARCERATED AND SEVERAL OTHER
FAMILY MEMBERS.
AND I JUST SIMPLY DIDN'T REALLY
GET AN OPPORTUNITY TO LIVE,
IF YOU-- SO TO SPEAK.
SO, THERE'S NOTHING THAT CAN
REPLACE THE LIBERTY TO KIND OF
WALK AROUND AND DO EXACTLY WHAT
YOU WANT TO DO WITHOUT,
YOU KNOW, HAVING TO BE,
YOU KNOW, SOMEWHAT DEMANDED THAT
YOU DO CERTAIN THINGS, SO,
YOU KNOW.

Steve says DO THEY GIVE YOU THE MONEY
RIGHT UP FRONT, ALL IN ONE
FELL SWOOP?

David says YEAH, THEY ACTUALLY DO.
THEY ACTUALLY DO.
BUT FOR ME, BEING SMART ABOUT
IT-- AGAIN, IT ALSO GOES BACK TO
THE SUPPORT SYSTEM THAT I HAD.
I WAS ABLE TO SORT OF TAKE THE
MONEY AND DO SOME REALLY
POSITIVE THINGS WITH IT, JUST TO
MAKE SURE-- JUST TO MAKE SURE
THAT I HAD MONEY THAT I CAN SORT
OF RELY ON WHENEVER I NEEDED IT.

Steve says WELL, THIS IS WHAT I WANT TO
UNDERSTAND, DAVID, 'CAUSE,
YOU KNOW, AT THE TIME YOU WENT
TO JAIL, I'M GOING TO GUESS THAT
YOU HADN'T HAD TOO MANY LESSONS
IN HOW TO BUDGET PROPERLY OR HOW
TO PAY A HYDRO BILL OR HOW TO
DO, I MEAN, ANY OF THE THINGS
THAT EVERYBODY TAKES FOR GRANTED
IN LIFE.
HOW HAVE YOU LEARNED HOW TO DO
ALL THAT?

David says WELL, I HAVEN'T LEARNED,
PER SE, HOW TO DO IT.
SO, IN SOME WAYS-- AND THIS IS
PROBABLY INTERESTING BECAUSE,
SOMETIMES, IT COMES DOWN TO A
MATTER OF TRUSTING THE PEOPLE
THAT YOU-- THAT YOU HAVE HIRED
TO SORT OF WORK FOR YOU OR WORK
WITH YOU.
AND THAT'S SORT OF WHAT I DID.
BUT AT THE SAME TIME, I FEEL
LIKE I'M LEARNING ON THE FLY IN
TERMS OF INVESTMENTS, WHAT TO
INVEST IN, WHAT NOT TO INVEST
IN, HOW TO BUDGET MONEY, WHEN TO
SPEND MONEY, YOU KNOW, WHAT TO
SPEND MONEY ON AND THAT SORT
OF THING.
SO, FROM THAT STANDPOINT,
I THINK I'M LEARNING.
BUT AT THE SAME TIME,
THERE'S ALSO A LOT OF ROOM FOR
IMPROVEMENT, WHICH I'M NO DOUBT
GOING TO BE INTERESTED IN
BECAUSE I PLAN TO DO SOME
CERTAIN THINGS GOING FORWARD
WITH MY LIFE THAT'S GOING TO
ENTAIL THAT I CONTINUE TO BUDGET
MONEY CORRECTLY WITH FAMILY AND
THAT SORT OF THING.
SO, THAT'S ALSO IMPORTANT TO ME.

Steve says SO, YOU STILL GOT A SUPPORT
SYSTEM IN PLACE THAT MAKES SURE
THAT THAT MONEY WILL LAST YOU
FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE.

David says ABSOLUTELY.

Steve says ARE YOU WORKING NOW?

David says YES, I AM.

Steve says WHAT ARE YOU DOING?

The caption changes to "tvo.org/theagenda."

David says I WORK FOR THE
MANHATTAN LEGAL AID SOCIETY.
SO, I WORK WITH THE JUVENILE
RIGHTS DIVISION, WORK WITH THE
SUPPORT STAFF THERE.
SO, WHAT I DO IS I DO A LOT OF
DATA WORK, A LOT OF PAPERWORK
AROUND, YOU KNOW, CHILDREN,
JUVENILES, FOR EXAMPLE,
AND CHILDREN WHO IS IN FOSTER
CARE AND CHILDREN WHO'S BEEN
NEGLECTED AND THAT SORT
OF THING.
SO, WHAT I DO ALSO IS I PREPARE
PAPERWORK FOR THE ATTORNEYS IN
THE CASE SO THAT, WHEN THEY GO
TO COURT, THEY HAVE THE PROPER...
NECESSARY INFORMATION IN FRONT
OF THEM TO PROPERLY DEFEND A
CLIENT, IF NEED BE, YES.

Steve says YOU HAVE SOMEBODY SPECIAL IN
YOUR LIFE.

David says I ABSOLUTELY DO.

Steve says WHO'S THAT?

David says HER NAME IS
QUINN NAOMI MCCALLUM.
SHE WAS BORN MAY 2ND, 2016.
AND, YOU KNOW, THAT'S ONE OF THE
BEST THINGS THAT EVER HAPPENED
TO ME.

Steve says YOU ARE A FATHER NOW.

David says I AM.

Steve says CAN YOU IMAGINE THAT?

David says I CAN NOW, YES.
BUT, YOU KNOW, I WAS ASKED THIS
A LONG TIME AGO ABOUT THE
EXPECTATIONS OF BEING A FATHER.
AND I SAID "ABSOLUTELY, I WOULD
LOVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO
DO THAT."
AND SO, I FINALLY GOT
THAT OPPORTUNITY.
AND WHILE THERE'S BEEN SOME
INTERESTING CHALLENGES OF
FATHERHOOD, I WILL NEVER BE
ANYONE TO COMPLAIN ABOUT IT
BECAUSE, YOU KNOW, SHE'S A
BLESSING IN MY LIFE.
AND I'M CERTAINLY HAPPY TO
HAVE HER.

Steve says THOSE INTERESTING CHALLENGES,
I CAN LET YOU KNOW, DO NOT
GO AWAY.

David says YES, YES, THAT'S WHAT I'VE
BEEN TOLD.

Steve says YES, YOU CAN RELY ON THAT
TAKING PLACE.
HOW DO YOU-- YOU KNOW,
HIS SUPPORT SYSTEM THAT'S IN
PLACE, WHAT DO YOU-- I MEAN,
HE'S OUT NOW.
HE'S A FREE MAN.
HE'S WORKING.
HE'S A FATHER NOW.
WHAT DO YOU SEE AS YOUR MISSION
NOW THAT THIS HAS HAPPENED
FOR DAVID?

Ken says I'M HIS FRIEND.
AND I'M THERE IF HE
NEEDS SOMETHING.
THERE'S NO MISSION ANYMORE.
HE'S OUT.
AND WE HAVE TO GO TO
ANOTHER CASE.
BUT DAVID IS HELPFUL IN THAT
WAY TOO.
IT'S, UMM-- WE'RE EQUALS.
IN FACT, WHEN HE WAS IN PRISON,
HE WASN'T SOME PASSIVE
OPERATIVE, ALLOWING EVERYBODY TO
GET HIM OUT OF PRISON.
HE WAS DIRECTING THE SHOW.
I MIGHT HAVE BEEN THE PRODUCER.
AND THERE WERE A LOT OF VERY
STRONG SUPPORTING ACTORS
AS WELL.
BUT DAVID WAS NEVER PASSIVE
IN THIS.

Steve says THE MOTHER OF YOUR CHILD,
ARE YOU TWO TOGETHER?

David says YES, WE ARE.

Steve says HOW DID YOU MEET HER?

David says WOW, SO, THIS IS
VERY INTERESTING.
I'LL TRY TO BE AS BRIEF AS I CAN
WITH THIS ONE.
THIS IS ALSO A CONNECTION TO THE
SUPPORT STUFF THAT I HAVE.
SO, I'M SITTING IN A PLACE,
SITTING IN A DINER IN BROOKLYN
ONE MORNING.
AND I'M HAVING A CONVERSATION
WITH RAY KLONSKY'S WIFE.
HER NAME IS "ROBBIE."
HE, OF COURSE, IS KEN'S SON.
AND I WAS HAVING TROUBLE GETTING
DATES WHEN I FIRST GOT OUT.
BUT AT THE SAME TIME, I REALIZED
THAT I DIDN'T WANT TO JUST SORT
OF RUN INTO ANY SORT
OF RELATIONSHIP.
AND I KIND OF WANTED TO TAKE
SORT OF A METHODICAL APPROACH.
SO, ROBBIE INTRODUCED ME TO THIS
DATING APP CALLED "TINDER."
OF COURSE, I DIDN'T KNOW WHAT
TINDER WAS.
SO, WHEN SHE TOLD ME-- TOLD ME
THE DATING APP, I WROTE IT DOWN
ON A PIECE OF PAPER TO MAKE A
NOTATION OF IT.
SO, WHEN I GOT HOME, I ASKED MY
SISTER COULD SHE, YOU KNOW,
DOWNLOAD THE APP INTO MY PHONE
AT THE TIME.
AND SHE DID.
AND I GOT ON TINDER.
AND I WENT ON A COUPLE OF DATES
THAT DIDN'T NECESSARILY
WORK OUT.
BUT I ALSO-- THEN I MET VALERIE
ON TINDER.
WE STARTED DATING FOR QUITE
A WHILE.
WE GOT TO KNOW EACH OTHER.
AND, YOU KNOW, WE MADE IT...
AS TIME WENT ON, WE GOT A BIT
MORE SERIOUS.
AND, YOU KNOW, AND THEN CAME
QUINN, SO, YEAH.

Steve says THAT'S A BRAVE WOMAN TO TAKE
A CHANCE ON SOMEBODY WHO'S HAD
THE KIND OF BACKGROUND
YOU'VE HAD.
I MEAN, YOU'RE NOT TYPICAL.
YOU ARE-- I WAS GOING TO SAY
"ONE IN A MILLION."
BUT WHO KNOWS EVEN THAT,
MAYBE EVEN-- MAYBE EVEN MORE
THAN THAT.

David says YEAH, BUT I THINK WHAT I DID
WAS, WHEN I INTRODUCED MYSELF TO
HER, RIGHT BEFORE WE STARTED
GETTING INTO ANY SPECIFICS ABOUT
WHO WE WERE AND WHAT WE WANTED
IN A RELATIONSHIP, I MADE IT A
POINT TO LET HER KNOW WHO I WAS
AND WHAT HAD HAPPENED TO ME IN
MY PAST BECAUSE I DIDN'T WANT
THERE TO BE NO SURPRISES WHEN IT
CAME TO MY WRONGFUL CONVICTION
BECAUSE, EVEN THOUGH A PERSON IS
EXONERATED FROM A CASE,
THERE'S STILL, YOU KNOW, DOUBTS,
IN PEOPLE'S MINDS, ABOUT WHETHER
THIS PERSON'S ACTUALLY INNOCENT.
SO, I WANTED TO ASSURE HER
"LOOK, I'M HERE, BEING TOTALLY
HONEST WITH YOU ABOUT WHO I AM
AND WHERE I BEEN FOR A
LONG TIME."
AND SO, SHE RESPECTED AND
APPRECIATED THAT.

Steve says I WONDER HOW YOU DID THAT,
DAVID, 'CAUSE IT'S AN ODD PICKUP
LINE TO SAY "HI.
MY NAME'S DAVID.
I'M INTERESTED IN YOU.
AND INCIDENTALLY, I'VE BEEN IN
JAIL FOR THE LAST 29 YEARS."

David says RIGHT.

Steve says YOU DON'T MAYBE SAY IT RIGHT
AWAY OFF THE TOP.

David says OF COURSE, IT WASN'T RIGHT
AWAY OFF THE TOP.
BUT GRADUALLY, AS THE
CONVERSATION WENT ON, IT WAS
SORT OF GOING IN A
PARTICULAR DIRECTION.
WE FELT LIKE IT COULD EVEN GO
EVEN FURTHER.
I JUST DECIDED TO COME CLEAN AT
THAT PARTICULAR MOMENT BECAUSE,
AGAIN, I DIDN'T WANT THERE TO BE
ANY SORT OF DOUBT ABOUT WHO
I WAS.
AND I JUST WANTED IT TO BE OUT
THERE BECAUSE I WOULD FEEL MORE
COMFORTABLE ABOUT ME,
LETTING THAT PERSON KNOW WHO I
WAS AND WHERE I'VE BEEN.

Steve says DID SHE KNOW YOUR STORY?

David says SHE DID NOT.
SHE PICKED UP ON MY STORY AS
SOON AS I TOLD HER ABOUT ME.
AND SO, SHE STARTED GOOGLING ME
AND GOOGLING INFORMATION ABOUT
THE CASE.

Steve says HOW DID SHE REACT TO GETTING
THAT INFORMATION?

David says SHE WAS PERPLEXED, TO SAY
THE LEAST.
BUT I UNDERSTOOD.
AND SHE DIDN'T IMMEDIATELY JUDGE
ME ON THAT.
SHE, OF COURSE, WANTED TO KNOW
MORE ABOUT ME AND GET TO KNOW ME
A LITTLE BIT MORE, WHICH I
ABSOLUTELY APPRECIATED BECAUSE,
OBVIOUSLY, IN SOCIETY,
WHICH I'VE COME TO LEARN,
THAT EVERYBODY IS NOT AS
FORGIVING AS-- AS, I GUESS,
MAYBE THEY SHOULD BE, GIVEN THE
SITUATION THAT I
JUST EXPERIENCED.

Steve says YOUR CHILD, QUINN, IS, WHAT,
A YEAR AND A HALF NOW?

David says YES, SHE IS.

Steve says A YEAR AND A HALF OLD.
AT WHAT POINT DO YOU TELL HER
ABOUT YOU?
I MEAN, HAVE YOU THOUGHT ABOUT
WHEN YOU'RE GOING TO TELL HER
YOUR STORY?

David says NO, I HAVE NOT, ACTUALLY.

Steve says I MEAN, IT'S NOT GOING TO BE
SOON, OBVIOUSLY.

David says NO, NO, IT WON'T.

Steve says BUT AT SOME POINT, YOU MAY
HAVE TO VISIT THIS ISSUE.

David says I WILL.
I MAY HAVE TO.
AND I CERTAINLY WILL REVISIT IT
OR VISIT THIS ISSUE WITH HER.
AND I'LL JUST SIMPLY BE HONEST
WITH HER.
I'LL BE HONEST WITH HER THE SAME
WAY I'VE BEEN HONEST WITH KEN
AND ALL THE INDIVIDUALS WHO CAME
INTO MY LIFE.
I'LL JUST SIMPLY LET HER KNOW
THAT WHAT HAPPENED TO DADDY
WAS UNFORTUNATE.
IT COULD HAVE BEEN AVOIDED.
YOU KNOW, DADDY WAS NOT THE
PERSON THAT THEY SAID DADDY WAS.
I'LL PUT IT IN THOSE TERMS WHERE
SHE CAN, YOU KNOW,
PROPERLY UNDERSTAND IT.
BUT I THINK IT'S IMPORTANT,
AS YOU WOULD SAY, TO LET HER
KNOW WHAT HAD HAPPENED TO ME
BECAUSE-- WHO KNOWS?
LOOK, WRONGFUL CONVICTIONS,
UNFORTUNATELY, HAPPEN ALL
THE TIME.
AND IT CAN HAPPEN TO ANYONE AT
ANY GIVEN MOMENT.
AND I THINK IT'S IMPORTANT FOR
HER, AS SHE GETS OLDER,
TO UNDERSTAND THAT TOO BECAUSE
JUST LIKE MEN ARE WRONGFULLY
CONVICTED, SO ARE WOMEN.

Steve says IN YOUR VIEW...

Ken says YES.

Steve says KEN, HOW'S HE DOING?

Ken says A LOT BETTER THAN WE
HAD THOUGHT.
I DON'T KNOW WHAT THE AVERAGE
INDIVIDUAL CARRIES-- CARRIES OUT
OF PRISON WITH HIM OR HER.
I DO KNOW THAT DAVID HAS HIS
ISSUES WITH AUTONOMY.
IF YOU'VE BEEN TOLD WHAT TO DO
FOR 30 YEARS, IT'S VERY HARD TO
SUDDENLY BECOME SELF-SUFFICIENT
AND SAY "I'M GOING TO DO THIS."
AND "I'M GOING TO DO THAT."
HE-- HE DELAYS A LOT OF THINGS.
AND I THINK THERE'S A FEAR.
THE FEAR ALSO COMES FROM WALKING
AROUND A PRISON AND NOT KNOWING
WHAT'S GOING TO HAPPEN TO YOU
FROM MOMENT TO MOMENT.
IT'S LIFE AND DEATH
STRUGGLES THERE.
SO, WE ARE VERY PLEASED THAT
HE'S BEEN ABLE TO KEEP A JOB AND
TO RIDE THE SUBWAYS AND TO HAVE
A RELATIONSHIP, MUCH, MUCH
BETTER THAN I THOUGHT WOULD HAVE
BEEN POSSIBLE, SO...

Steve says DAVID, LET'S FINISH UP
ON THIS.
YOUR COUNTRY, RIGHT NOW,
UNITED STATES, IS GOING THROUGH
SOME EXTRAORDINARY THINGS.
I THINK THAT'S PROBABLY THE MOST
DIPLOMATIC WAY OF PUTTING IT.
THERE ARE TOO MANY EXAMPLES OF
BLACK MEN BEING KILLED BY COPS.
THERE ARE FOOTBALL PLAYERS WHO
ARE KNEELING FOR THE NATIONAL
ANTHEM BECAUSE THEY DO NOT SEE A
COUNTRY THAT TREATS THEM...
IN SPITE OF THEIR WEALTH AND
PRIVILEGE AS WELL-PAID FOOTBALL
PLAYERS, THEY DON'T SEE THEM
BEING TREATED EQUALLY IN
THE COUNTRY.
YOU HAVE A PRESIDENT RIGHT NOW
THAT A LOT OF PEOPLE THINK IS...
I'LL JUST LEAVE IT THERE.
FILL IN THE BLANKS.
HOW-- DO YOU FIND IT DIFFICULT
RIGHT NOW TO BE LOYAL TO THE
IDEA OF THE
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA?

David says UMM, I DON'T.
AND I HAVE TO SORT OF HARKEN
BACK TO MY OWN EXPERIENCES
DEALING WITH PEOPLE.
SO, IN A TIME WHEN I NEEDED
PEOPLE THE MOST, PEOPLE CAME
INTO MY LIFE.
AND I APPRECIATE THAT BECAUSE IF
THESE PEOPLE DIDN'T COME INTO MY
LIFE AT A TIME WHEN I NEEDED
THEM THE MOST, I'M NOT SURE
WHERE I'D BE RIGHT NOW.
SO, WHAT I DECIDED TO DO AND
WHAT I CONTINUE TO DO EVEN NOW,
GIVEN THE POLITICAL CLIMATE IN
THE U.S., I DECIDED TO JUST RELY
ON THE FAITH OF PEOPLE.
SO, THERE'S MANY PEOPLE OUT IN
THE STREETS, SO TO SPEAK,
RAISING THEIR VOICES,
ALLOWING THEIR VOICES TO BE
HEARD IN A WAY THAT...
THAT'S IMPORTANT.
AT SOME POINT, IT CAN MAYBE
PROVOKE SOME SORT OF CHANGE.
SO, MY FAITH IS IN THE PEOPLE,
AS OPPOSED TO THE
GOVERNMENT ITSELF.
BECAUSE AS THE GOVERNMENT IS
CONSTRUCTED, I'M VERY
PESSIMISTIC ABOUT WHERE THE
COUNTRY MAY OR MAY NOT BE GOING.
SO, I DON'T HAVE A LOT OF FAITH
IN THIS PARTICULAR GOVERNMENT
BECAUSE THEY'VE BEEN VERY CLEAR
WHAT THEIR AGENDA IN TERMS OF,
YOU KNOW, WHAT THEY WANT TO DO
AS FAR AS DIVISION,
DIVIDING THE COUNTRY.
AND I HAVE TO UNFORTUNATELY SAY
THEY HAVE DONE A PRETTY GOOD JOB
OF DOING THAT.
SO, FOR ME, MY FAITH WILL
CONTINUE TO RELY ON-- IN THE
PEOPLE BECAUSE, AT THE END OF
THE DAY, IT'S GOING TO BE PEOPLE
WHO ULTIMATELY GET, YOU KNOW,
GET TO WHERE WE NEED TO BE AS A
COUNTRY, AS A PEOPLE AND AS A
SOCIETY, SO...

The caption changes to "Producer: Cara Stern, @carastern."

Steve says WE ARE ALWAYS GRATEFUL FOR
YOUR VISITS HERE TO US HERE IN
THE CAPITAL CITY OF THE PROVINCE
OF ONTARIO.
KEN KLONSKY, THANK YOU FOR
COMING IN.
WE REMIND PEOPLE THE BOOK IS
CALLED
FREEING DAVID MCCALLUM:
THE LAST MIRACLE OF
RUBIN "HURRICANE" CARTER.
AND DAVID, IT'S SO GOOD TO SEE
YOU AGAIN.
CONGRATULATIONS ON PARENTHOOD.

David says THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

Steve says THE BEST IS YET TO COME.

David says I ABSOLUTELY AGREE WITH YOU.
THANK YOU.

Steve says THANK YOU.

Watch: Life After Wrongful Conviction